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Curzon: Imperial Statesman

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  32 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
"Elegant biography . . . a fast-moving, entertaining, and finely written story." --Simon Schama, The New Yorker

George Nathaniel Curzon's controversial life in public service stretched from the high noon of his country's empire to the traumatized years following World War I. As viceroy of India under Queen Victoria and foreign secretary under King George V, the obsessive Lo
Paperback, 704 pages
Published February 7th 2006 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 1994)
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Aug 19, 2014 Eleanore rated it liked it
Shelves: biography-memoir
Like the many monuments he helped restore across the provinces of India, the figure of George Curzon (1859-1925) stands upon the pages of history: striking, evocative, and somewhat the worse for wear. Known as one of the most talented conservative British statesmen of his era - Viceroy of India, Foreign Secretary, and Leader of the House of Lords - the public record bears the imprint of his eloquent rhetoric, as well as his political and organizational accomplishments. However, memory gives far ...more
“Curzon” is one of those typically British biographies of dead political figures. Such biographies tend to go into great detail not just about the protagonist, but about long-forgotten political issues fought among long-forgotten men. If you are interested in the protagonist, or the period, this can be excellent, as long as the writing is good, and Gilmour’s is good. But if you’re looking for an objectively thrilling read, you should stay away.

Before I read this book, I only knew vaguely of Geor
Feb 19, 2011 Joe rated it really liked it
My name is George Nathaniel Curzon,
I am a most superior person,
My cheek is pink, my hair is sleek,
I dine at Blenheim once a week.

George Curzon was not a man who harboured doubts about his abilities. He was a hugely able and talented man, but suffered from the imperial outlook common to many men of his background and time. He saw Britain’s status and future greatness as being inextricably linked to the fortunes of the Empire.

Curzon was one of the three great British Proconsuls of the Empire at th
Margaret Sankey
Jul 07, 2012 Margaret Sankey rated it liked it
Gilmour has a difficult task--Curzon was a paragon of the "empire man" of the 19th century British world. It meant that he felt compelled to a life of state service, and while in India conscientiously did things that were (for the 19th century) progressively minded, married to and supported by an American heiress and father of daughters who were social stars (one of them marrying Oswald Mosley, the others orbiting around him like moths). For a modern reader, this is also a path that, in retrospe ...more
Nov 02, 2015 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
I liked George Curzon and he didn't have it easy despite being born with a silver spoon in his mouth and expectations of greatness. He was the victim of an appalling conspiracy by colleagues and 'friends' in high office and he left his India position without the acclaim that was due to him. I read this book slowly as I was reluctant to let him go as I liked him so much. He stood head and shoulders over those around him and they took from him the positions he would have excelled in. When he did g ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Sir David Robert Gilmour, 4th Baronet (b. 14 November 1952) is a Scottish author. He is the first son of Ian Gilmour, Baron Gilmour of Craigmillar, 3rd Baronet, and Lady Caroline Margaret Montagu-Douglas-Scott, the youngest daughter of the 8th Duke of Buccleuch. HRH Princess
More about David Gilmour...

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